Ten Hag makes alarming admission about David de Gea’s kicking as he identifies possible cause for keeper’s struggles
ERIK TEN HAG says David de Gea still needs to work on his kicking despite the 32-year-old goalkeeper having played over 500 games for Manchester United.
At the Carabao Cup Final he surpassed Peter Schmeichel’s long-standing record with his 181st clean sheet for the club as they ran out 2-0 winners over Newcastle.
Manchester United star David de Gea struggles with his kicking, claims Erik ten HagRex
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag issued some productive criticismGetty
But there has long been question marks over his distribution from the back.
They were raised again on Tuesday when he gave the ball away almost leading to a second Real Betis goal.
Speaking after the game Ten Hag said: “From today I can’t ignore it, but I think we have seen many games he did really well.
“We work on that but David is working on that.
“But I think we have seen in this season that he is improving and he will keep improving, I’m sure.
“I don’t know what the reason today was. There was a lot of wind, a different ball, probably he had some problems with that, but I know we can deal with it and he will do better Sunday.”
De Gea is still to agree on a new contract with his current United deal running out at the end of the season.
He is the club’s top earner on £375,000 a week but will have to take a cut to £200,000 a week if he wants to extend his stay.
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The player himself continues to publicly claim that an agreement will be reached to keep him on at the club.
Meanwhile, injury-plagued Anthony Martial, currently out with a hip problem, has returned to training but will not be ready for Sunday’s home game against Southampton.
Ten Hag said: “He is on his way back, he’s back in training but we will be cautious.”
The United boss also remains positive about Christian Eriksen returning to action before the end of the season.
He has been out of action since suffering an ankle injury in the FA Cup win over Reading at the end of January after a hefty challenge from Andy Carroll.
Ten Hag said: “I think his progress in the rehab is OK, is going according to plan, so we will definitely see him but not before the international break.”